I fear death. I do; I fear death.
I want God; I do. I want God.
No, no, not the God of the Old Testament who condemned the entire human race to die because two people ate a fruit. Or the one who flooded the world killing all people except for Noah and his family or the deity who destroyed the unified language of man or the one who poured fire and brimstone to “smote” the people of Sodom and Gomorrah or the one who destroyed Egypt because of the institution of slavery which he allowed in the first place.
Not him. I do not want him.
Maybe I want the Christian God who was portrayed by Jesus as the loving father and the one who…no, wait, that God sent his son to earth to be horribly killed. For what reason? To rid us of the sins we didn’t commit?
Since many Christians believe that Christ is God, then God sent himself to earth to have himself slaughtered but at the end he said he didn’t want to do it but then prayed to God, who was himself, but accepted God’s will, meaning his own will, and went through with it.
I don’t want him; not him. There is something unsettling in that story.
I want a God who will hold me and comfort me, the way my mother did when I was a child. I still have some memories of those times—maybe I was five- or six-years old—as she calmed me in a world of hurt.
I want that love after I die.
I want to exist after I die.
Let me see my deceased family and friends now arraigned in their most beautiful guises.
I also want a heaven and, yes, yes, because I am human, I want a hell for those people who are awful people such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and all those other monsters from history who are too numerous to name.
I even want a heaven for dogs and cats and parrots and apes of every variety. Let the animals enjoy a heaven too. Let the lion lie down with the lamb without dinning on the wooly creature’s flesh. People with pets want that heaven to exist. They want a puppy paradise.
But does such a place exist? Seriously, does it? I doubt it.
The books about the God (Yahweh) of the bible and the gods of other cultures give me no credence for any of it. All those books that I’ve read leave me shaking my head that anyone of any intelligence can put stock in any of this.
What has brought me to this moment as I write this? It is death.
Human beings have the ability to imagine their own deaths, usually sometime in the far future, or even imminently, as a sudden stroke of the awful slays them. But it doesn’t usually hang over our heads except in war. Mostly it is a vague feeling when we are young. Mostly.
But as we age, as we’ve lived an enormous segment of our lives and are well past our peak, we feel the tentacles of death truly heading to grasp us in their unbreakable grip. We have medicine, yes; but none of it has prevented anyone from dying the permanent death. Although, we fight death, we think about it and fear it. We lose to it.
I am now the elder of my family. I am the gray-haired one—I even have gray hairs in my nose! At Thanksgiving, I am the oldest one at the table.
Recently several of my friends died—two of them way too young. Their deaths were sudden; immediate, bam! They were alive, then dead. Just like that. These two people gave the world the benefit of their existences. Their lives were worth living and now they are dead. Dead. Bam! Just like that.
I am closer to death now than I am to my birth; I’d have to live to a 144 years to call this the midway point of my life. I doubt my storehouse of prescription drugs can help me last to 144 years old.
All the ideas about death and the afterlife sold to us in sacred books by supposedly sacred people and by pronouncements of true believers carry no weight. I just don’t see any of that speculation as at all compelling, as at all real. It’s spit in the wind.
Oh, I do see death.
I see death seeing me.
I know one thing for sure; death has no soul.
Frank Scoblete’s books are available at smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at book stores.